I miss the days when the world wasn't so politically correct. Movies were racist and sexist. But they were good. Nowadays everyone is so paranoid they might offend someone, they clam up and say nothing at all. Why do we have freedom of speech if we don't actually use it?
There's been a bit of controversy over Volkswagen's super bowl ad. You know the one with the albino Jamaican? I personally found the commercial humorous. What I loved most about it was the inclusion of Minnesota--the land of ten tousand lakes, man. In no way did I find the commercial offensive. Then again, I'm a pasty white girl from the Gopher State, but I don't think Jamaicans should take offense to it.
One analyst said she was shocked they would even make the commercial and went so far as to bet they wouldn't air it. But they did! So nyeh! She said it was racist in part because it's saying all black people are happy. That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. For one, it doesn't include all black people. Just Jamaicans. And frankly, since they live on a beautiful island and smoke pot, I'm sure they're quite happy. (Of course, I know they don't all smoke hippie lettuce, but still.) She compared it even to blackface. Only with sound. I don't know much about the region, but I'm going to go out on a limb and assume there are also light-skinned people with Jamaican accents.
I mean, the commercial didn't mention fried chicken or watermelon once. How can it be racist?
There's a double standard in this country that appalls me. Comedians of any race can say all they want about white people. But if you're white, you can't insult/make fun of black people without becoming the scum of the earth. It's perfectly okay for a black guy to fake a French or a Scottish accent, but it's not okay for a white guy to pretend he has a Jamaican accent? We live in a country where the making of the movie White Chicks is perfectly acceptable, but I bet you'll never see a movie called Black Chicks.
One of my favorite British comedies, Fawlty Towers, a program that aired in the 70s, recently sparked a bit of controversy in England. You can read the article about it here. The particular episode they censored is actually my favorite. When I first saw it, I believe I had tears streaming down my face I was laughing so hard. What they censored wasn't intended by the makers to be offensive. It was a joke, but it was cut because the episode was being aired during family time. Also, they only cut the part that could have been offensive to non-white people, but they left the part that could offend white Germans. Seems a bit one-sided to me.
Maybe I'm just a racist. I don't know. From time to time, I make racist jokes (which are usually about Asians since my boyfriend is Asian) when I'm around my friends and family. I don't do it to be offensive, only to get a reaction out of people. I like making people laugh. Especially at the expense of others. I don't discriminate, and I treat people with the amount of respect they in turn give me. Very simple.
In my writing, I say what I want, and I don't generally think about how its going to offend people. Someone is always going to take it the wrong way. Why worry about it? (Unless of course, you're criticizing someone's religion. Then don't do it! The crazies will keeeel ya.)
What do you think? Is the commercial racist? Should we censor media like that? When does censoring go too far? Should we strive to be politically correct? Has PC affected your writing?